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The Pelvis Rules

One thing I love looking at is athletes, crossfitters, with shoulder injuries. They decide to go to the box and do all lower body weights. They do some deadlift, front squat, back squat among other things. They go all out, because guess what? "I can do all the lower body I want, because I just have a shoulder injury" ~ Common words. Here's the deal though, the shoulder injuries will keep on happening and get worse or just come back over and over again because it's the proprioception of the pelvis that matters. The ability to manoeuvre the pelvis is key. If an athlete cannot position the pelvis appropriately, then a HUGE contributor is the hamstrings= Tight + Short, and the low back.

Touch your crotch. The crotch. Yes, the crotch. That's the pubic symphysis, it's a bone {well... technically it's a fibrocartilaginous disc joining the two pubic bones}. Then, taking two fingers on either side of the belly button, come down just a little bit from the belly button and walk your fingers across. You land on bone and bone. That's the front of your pelvis, ASIS, anterior superior iliac spine. Now, have a little fun manoeuvring the pelvis.

Your crotch and the front of the pelvis needs to be in perfect alignment in order for you to know whether you have the appropriate hamstring length. In other words, if you are not in neutral pelvis, there's muscles and connective tissues pulling on your pelvis to tilt it one way or the other. Posterior tilt most of the time because of your tights hamstrings, which also equal the butt wink. If you don't have the appropriate hamstring length all day everyday then it doesn't matter what you do in your warm up, and during your gym practice. You might "feel" fine in your session, thinking your alignment is "fine". But it's not! Your pelvis is not in neutral for the entire day or night when you are sleeping, sitting down, and/or standing and whatever it is that you do.

Sit down on the ground with your legs straight out, flush with the ground and pelvis in neutral. Most crossfitters, a high percentage, will have their crotch in front of the pelvis. You cannot be in this position. This is not optimal health! This is a reason for issues in the first place. Not being able to have a neutral pelvis while sitting on the ground is automatically a red flag and you have a higher risk of injury to the shoulders, back, hamstrings. And if the hamstrings are injured/tense/short, then your achilles and plantar fascia are at risk among many other things. So many issues can incur just by not aligning the pelvis.

If you cannot sit on the floor, legs straight out and pelvis in neutral you need to stretch and lengthen your hamstrings. You need to get into positions everyday where you can have that length in the hamstrings. Otherwise, you will always be in posterior tilt, you'll always have that butt wink and you'll have issues with your shoulders, back and lower legs and even the feet.

Lengthen your hamstrings every single day. And, think about the positioning of your pelvis everyday which is directly linked to your hamstrings, back and shoulders.

Do your hamstring stretches!

Kristin Marvin

Kristin Marvin (BSc, MA, BEd) is a Performance Recovery Specialist helping athletes achieve their best through proper recovery. She's an accredited Restorative Exercise Specialist™ and the sole Yoga Tune Up® Teacher Trainer in Australia. She loves abusing her body by participating in a wide variety of sports and she has the scars to prove it! Having had her share of injuries throughout her elite athletic career she is passionate about teaching athletes to take care of their bodies.

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